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Troubles by J.G. Farrell first edition 1970

Troubles by J.G. Farrell first edition 1970

£1,750.00Price

London: Jonathan Cape, 1970

 

8vo., grey publisher’s boards, gilt to spine; upper edge red; in the original unclipped pictorial dust jacket (45s/£2.25 net), featuring a design by Bill Botten; pp. [viii], 9-445, [iii]; a near-fine copy, spine tips lightly compressed, edges a touch sunned; with a couple of very light spots to the outer edge, and some pencil markings now erased from the ffep; the very good dust jacket rubbed a little to edges and folds, a touch toned along spine, overall shelf-wear, one small section affecting the lower panel; very minor loss to spine tips, with one closed tear along spine (1.5cm approx); a vibrant example, nonetheless. 

 

First edition, first printing of this Lost Booker Prize-winning work, the first in the Empire Trilogy, which feature an overlap of characters but are otherwise only connected thematically. The Lost Man Booker Prize was a specially-awarded edition of the prize which was decided by public vote in 2010, 40 years after the novel was published, and 30 after the author’s death. Due to an alteration in the rules, until 1970 the prize was awarded to books published the previous year, while from 1971 onwards it was awarded to those published the same year. Troubles won with 38% of the popular vote. 

 

In 1956 while studying at Oxford, Farrell contracted polio, and it was perhaps because of this that disease featured so prominently in his work. Troubles is set in a crumbling hotel in Ireland at the end of the first world war, from where a melancholy Englishman attempts to reunite with his fiancee, while observing Ireland’s fight for independence from Britain. Strongly influenced by, in his opinion, the decline of the British empire, his following two works also focused upon the theme of colonialism, set respectively within India and Singapore. 

 

Farrell died tragically after falling into the sea while angling. As Salman Rushdie wrote, “had he not sadly died so young, there is no question that he would today be one of the really major novelists of the English language. The three novels that he did leave are all in their different way extraordinary.”  

 

Scarce thus, in the beautifully-designed dust jacket.

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